Back when plans were originally developed for the Wesley Chapel District Park, the intention was to build an indoor recreation center as part of the complex, said Pasco County Commissioner Mike Moore.
“Over time, with the downturn and people were saving money — cutting budget, it never happened,” Moore said.
Now, plans for the indoor center are again proceeding for the district park at 7727 Boyette Road, in Wesley Chapel.
“I asked it to be put in last year’s budget,” Moore said, noting he expects the county to soon select a design firm to design the building.
A county staff committee reviews the qualifications of those seeking to do the design work, Moore said.
“Once they choose the firm that meets the qualifications, they bring their choice to us,” Moore said. Generally, that’s approved by the board without debate, he said.
He expects the indoor recreation center to be similar to the building at the Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex, on Collier Parkway in Land O’ Lakes.
The center will be approximately 15,000 square feet, and the budget for the project is approximately $3 million, Moore said.
He knows the indoor center will be a welcome addition to the community.
“I’ve been very involved at Wesley Chapel District Park for a number of years,” he said, noting he’s coached baseball, soccer and flag football.
“There’s a lot of people out there on a daily basis,” Moore said.
“Right now, they’re playing basketball outside. The leagues are playing outside, plus, just the general public is playing outside.
“Well, the downfall, it’s hot in the summer — and then, rain,” Moore said. “You figure if it’s 100 degrees outside, it’s 120 (degrees) on that court.”
An indoor facility can be used year-round, he noted. And, “it doesn’t matter what the weather is like outside. It doesn’t matter how hot it is.”
Plus, he said, “it’s just a safer environment for the kids.”
The new center also will give the community a chance to offer volleyball leagues, Moore said.
“I know for a fact, a lot of the girls and guys who are playing in volleyball are going to other places, whether it be Collier Parkway or New Tampa,” Moore said.
But, sports-minded people aren’t the only ones who will benefit, he said.
It also will create a new gathering space for the community.
He envisions a wide range of people using the center, such as the Rotary Club, community associations, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, aerobics classes, yoga classes, and various other classes and organizations.
“Think about those things they’re doing at Collier (Land O’ Lakes Recreation Complex), we could do them here,” Moore said. “I think about some of our retirees, our seniors, during the day — people could have Bridge Club or knitting.”
Right now, there are about 500 boys and girls in the basketball league each year, ranging from age 7 to 17, and there are no volleyball leagues at the park.
“My assumption is that you would see the leagues increase.
“I think it’s a deterrent for people to join when you play outdoors, because of the heat and everything,” he said.
There will be more parking, too.
“When you expand capacity, obviously you need additional parking,” Moore said.
He hopes the center is completed in time to open in early 2020.
Published November 21, 2018